Are you graduating from college this spring? If so, congratulations! If you have a student loan, you’ll start the repayment process soon. To learn more about this process, review your student loan information shown in the Aid Summary section at StudentAid.gov. The Aid Summary is part of your online account on StudentAid.gov, which you can access by using your FSA ID — your login for completing the FAFSA. Your Aid Summary allows you to view the types and amounts of financial aid you’ve received while attending college. In addition, you can view your:
- Outstanding Balances
- Loan Status
- Servicer Contact Information
One of the advantages of taking out a Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized student loan is the six-month grace period. Borrowers aren’t required to make a payment on their loans until six months after they graduate, withdraw or drop below half-time enrollment status (6 hours per semester). Generally, your first payment will be due within 60 days after your grace period ends. The grace period gives borrowers the time to find a job, assess their financial situation, and adjust their budget accordingly.
Due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was enacted in March 2020. Since then, federal student loan payments have been suspended, interest rates reduced to 0%, and collections on delinquent and defaulted loans were halted.
The student loan payment pause was extended to allow the litigation surrounding the Biden Administration’s student debt relief plan to be resolved. Payments are currently scheduled to resume 60 days after June 30, 2023. Borrowers will be notified before payments begin so it’s important to make sure your contact information at StudentAid.gov is current. You can find the latest information about the current state of the federal loan repayment pause at https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/covid-19.
How does all of this affect the grace period on a student loan? According to the U.S. Department of Education, “Grace periods still apply as they normally would. However, if a loan is scheduled to enter repayment before the COVID-19 emergency relief period ends, borrowers will instead automatically enter payment suspension and receive the temporary 0% interest rate.” This means a borrower whose grace period ends before Aug. 31, 2023, will not be required to make payments on their federally owned student loan(s) until the emergency measures have been lifted.
Borrowers should be aware, however that interest will accrue during their grace period once the 0% interest rate ends. Borrowers should monitor the six-month grace period on their federal student loans. Once you’ve withdrawn from college, dropped below half-time status or graduated, the grace period goes into effect. It’s important that borrowers talk to their student loan servicing company to ask about the repayment start dates on each of their loans. Learn more about your grace period at StudentAid.gov.
More information about successful loan repayment can be found at ReadySetRepay.org.